Small businesses looking for help getting through the winter as the COVID-19 global pandemic continues to hamper sales can apply for grants via the One Buncombe Fund. On Jan. 26, the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved $150,000 to help reinvigorate the previous success of the campaign that helped provide much-needed relief at the beginning of the global pandemic. In particular, this grant funding is heavily focused on helping businesses retain and rehire employees at living wages.
“Buncombe County is aware of the unique challenges facing our small businesses. The winter can already be a difficult time, and it's undoubtedly exacerbated by the effects of a global pandemic,” stated Commission Chair Brownie Newman. “We hope this funding and the revival of the One Buncombe Fund help offer relief for struggling businesses.”
Buncombe County also has a goal of helping raise an additional $300,000 for the One Buncombe Fund, a goal that would provide a total of $500,000 for local, small businesses via the following funding streams:
- One Buncombe Fund’s remaining $50,000 balance
- Commissioners’ approval of an additional $150,000
- Using partner assistance to raise $300,000
Buncombe County will immediately begin its goal of raising the additional $300,000 and will focus on that part of the initiative for about two weeks before beginning the application process. The plan is to start taking applications on Wednesday, Feb. 10, allowing for the fund to grow in community awareness and overall available funding.
Please note: If you are an individual in need of assistance, call the County’s Economic Services at (828) 250-5500. If you’re interested in donating or applying for relief funding, see below:
- To donate to the One Buncombe Fund: If you or your organization would like to support community small businesses by helping us reach our goal of raising $300,000, please donate here or contact the Buncombe County Service Foundation Executive Director at Rachael.firstname.lastname@example.org.
- To apply for funding: If you are a small business, visit Mountain BizWorks’ website here or call (828) 253-2834 for complete eligibility requirements, grant details, and more.
- Eligibility requirements: The One Buncombe Fund is designed to meet a broad range of needs, especially for those not meeting requirements for PPP funding. There is also an intentional focus on assisting minority-owned, woman-owned, and sole-proprietor businesses.
Buncombe County will alert the media and post information on its website as soon as the application period officially opens. Thanks to everyone who continues to make the One Buncombe Fund a successful avenue for helping our community’s small businesses.